How to Care For & Clean Your Braces

smile with braces and cleaning instrumentGetting braces is something of a rite of passage for adolescents, but, these days, people of all ages are opting for traditional metal braces, choosing to straighten their smiles with the help of their orthodontist. Whether you are taking advantage of adult braces to boost the health and look of your teeth, or your child is getting braces now in order to enjoy a straight smile for years to come, care and maintenance should be considered above all else!

While caring for braces may not be a difficult task, it is one that requires your commitment, whether it be you or your child who is the wearer. Since braces block access to the teeth, you must invest a little extra time to properly clean and care for the gums and pearly whites behind them!

Fortunately, metal braces have been a staple in the dental industry for years, so we know just how to take care of them!

Where To Find The Best Orthodontics In South Florida

Looking for the best braces near Fort Lauderdale or Plantation? Smile Design Dental offers orthodontic treatment, providing both kids and adult braces in Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Margate, Hallandale Beach, and Coral Springs. Our South Florida orthodontists utilize the latest dental technologies to provide custom treatment options that are personalized to each and every patient.

Whether you are just considering braces for you or your child, or you have already started on your braces journey, there is much to learn about the braces lifestyle – and the necessary care for keeping the teeth healthy during treatment. To learn more about this orthodontics system, and to discover if it could be right for you, read on.

Do Traditional Braces Fit Into My Lifestyle?

Before you or your child gets braces, it’s important that you first consider how they may – or may not – fit into your lifestyle. Maintaining your braces also means maintaining the health of your smile, which even has an effect on your total body health! If the following are important parts of your lifestyle, then you should consider another orthodontic treatment method:

  • Eating sticky foods. Like gum, taffy, and dried fruit
  • Biting into hard foods. Like ice or apples
  • Drinking sugary drinks or carbonated beverages. Like soda and juice
  • Skipping out on flossing. 

If traditional braces aren’t a good fit for you, don’t fret! Our orthodontists in South Florida also offer Invisalign®, clear teeth aligners that have the same straightening power as braces. Invisalign is a clear braces system designed to be removed during brushing, flossing, and mealtimes. In addition to offering discreet straightening power, they can also present more rapid treatment times, in some cases!

New To Braces? Read These Tips First!

Did you know that, when braces are neglected or they are exposed to conditions that can hurt them, your or your child’s orthodontic treatment plan could be compromised? Don’t needlessly extend your treatment time or sacrifice hard-earned cash for a replacement set. Follow these simple care guidelines instead!

Here are the top 3 ways to care for and clean your metal braces:

1. Avoid Consuming These Foods & Beverages

Although they’re built to last, metal braces contain lots of nooks and crannies in which food can easily get stuck. Because of this, you should NEVER consume the following types of foods while wearing braces:

  • Chewy foods, such as bagels, licorice, and gummy candies
  • Sticky foods, such as gum and taffy
  • Any foods designed to bite into, such as apples and corn on the cobb
  • Crunchy foods, such as popcorn and chips
  • Hard foods, such as nuts and pretzels

On the plus side, many braces-wearers report following a healthier diet during treatment as they were “forced” to eliminate many unhealthy snacks, such as candy and chips!

2. Never Play Sports Unprotected

No, you don’t have to quit your softball team because you have braces – but you will have to protect them! If you or your child play sports, especially contact sports, let your orthodontist know! They will provide you with a custom mouth guard designed to protect your braces from any potential collisions.

3. Re-Adjust Your Brushing & Flossing Routine

Following a consistent and thorough oral care routine is important for all, but it’s especially important for people who wear braces.

First, if you use an electric toothbrush, let your orthodontist know the brand. Though electric toothbrushes are powerful teeth and gum cleaners, they could prove too vigorous for braces and are best avoided or used on a “low” or “sensitive” setting.

If you go the traditional, non-electric route, opt for a toothbrush with a smaller head and soft or extra-soft bristles. Brush using circular motions, all around the teeth and gum line and on top of all parts of the braces, including the brackets and wires. Note: If your braces contain elastics, remove them prior to brushing and flossing.

Next, use a floss threader, which will help you get the floss between the wires and the gum line. Floss in a front-to-back motion, as you normally would without braces. If you or your child are finding it difficult to floss with braces, invest in a water flosser instead!

Last but not least, use interdental brushes (pictured above) to brush those hard-to-reach areas between teeth. They also work well to dislodge any food particles stuck within brackets or between the wire and the gum line.

Call The South Florida Orthodontics Team You Can Trust!

Now that you know how to care for braces, get the straight teeth you deserve from the team who knows how to straighten smiles best! Call Smile Design Dental to schedule your orthodontic consultation.

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